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Addiction in the family: Education and Support

Please mark your calendars for this local event. It’s free of charge and is a stakeholder meeting to develop greater support for families and friends who have loved ones in active addiction or early recovery:

Wednesday, May 3, 5:30-7:00 PM The BARN (Bangor Area Recovery Network) 142 Center Street, Brewer, Maine

The goal of this meeting is to discuss how the BARN can best support families in the Bangor Area. This meeting will be in a safe, anonymous space where families can listen and learn, or feel free to share questions and comments.

  1. A chance for families and friends of those suffering with alcoholism or addiction to connect, educate and support one another. Our loved one’s drug of choice may be different, but the challenges we face when we love an active alcoholic or person suffering from substance use disorder are often the same.

  2. Unique perspectives on the effects of addiction from the firsthand experience of both the person struggling with alcoholism or addiction as well as the family members who are trying to love and support them while still maintaining their own boundaries and health.

We will present information about various resources for you and your loved ones including:

  1. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

  2. Higher Ground Services

  3. Bangor Vet Center

  4. Health Equity Alliance

  5. Alternative approaches to care of both the person suffering from addiction as well as self-care for their family members including yoga and meditation.

Information will be available about support group meeting times and place in your area including:

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous

  2. Ala-Non Family Groups

  3. Narcotics Anonymous

  4. Nar-Anon Family Groups

  5. Young People in Recovery

For more information please contact Jim LaPierre, LCSW CCS at

Guests and Hosts for the Evening

Karen Foley is a BARN board member, a recovery ally, an affected other and most importantly a mom. She has an extensive history of board membership and volunteer work with multiple Bangor area organizations. Karen works at a local mental health facility, is an adjunct instructor, and occasionally Jim LaPierre’s writing partner. For four years she was the voice behind “Postcards from a Work in Progress,” a Bangor Daily News Blog. For more information you can contact Karen at

Kirk Grant, LCSW, is a U.S. Army veteran, a licensed counselor and the Director of the Bangor Vet Center where he serves veterans struggling with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and addiction. For more information you can contact Kirk at

Ross Hicks is a California native who joined the Navy shortly after high school. During his eight and a half years of service he earned two Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals and was awarded the 2010 Federal Employee of the Year award for the entire naval region of Hawaii. In 2013, he was medically retired and moved back to Maine. Since then he has completed a Bachelor’s in Political Science, entered long term recovery from substance use disorder and began working for the Health Equity Alliance as the Harm Reduction Coordinator. During his time with HEAL Ross has developed and implemented the most efficient overdose prevention program in the state and was recently appointed to the Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis in the State. For more information you can contact Ross at

Jim LaPierre, LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a recovery ally, mental health therapist and an addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) and helping folks to overcome obstacles and improve their quality of life. Jim writes the blog “Recovery Rocks” for the Bangor Daily News. Jim is board member of both the Bangor Area Recovery Center, and the Health Equity Alliance. For more information you can contact Jim at

Betsy Rose is the volunteer president of NAMI Bangor, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She also teaches NAMI’s Family-to-Family class and serves on the NAMI Maine Board of Directors. Betsy is a passionate advocate for those suffering from mental illness as well as a compassionate and caring support for families. For more information you can contact Betsy at

Jennie Tavares, BA, is a yogi, activist, teacher, Reiki II Practitioner, affected other, and a woman in long term recovery. She believes yoga has been a vital part of her recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol as well as from an eating disorder that spanned nearly 10 years of her life. She shares this gift for yoga in both her personal life and her professional life. Jennie has extensive training in various types of yoga including but not limited to: 12 Step Recovery Yoga, Yin Yoga and Meditation, Trauma Sensitive Yoga and EBT Yoga for body image and improvement. Jennie obtained her BA in Psychology and Holistic Health in 2015 from the University of Southern Maine where she now teaches in the Health and Fitness Department. Jennie also leads recovery yoga classes at the Portland Recovery Community Center, and is co-owner of Arcana Healing Arts in Portland, Maine. For more information you can contact Jennie at

For more information about the BARN visit us on Facebook or at our website at

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